In the United States, counties and school districts collect property taxes for public expenditure on education, municipal administration, and safety. If you own a residential or commercial property, you are liable to pay real property taxes. Paying your taxes is a good thing, but sometimes you end up paying more due to the complex world of the property tax system, which can impact your household spends and savings. At Paladin, we believe in fair property tax assessments, and today we are sharing some ways to help lower your property taxes.
Check your property tax card for errors
Your local administration maintains a property tax card for every residential and commercial property in the area. It contains information about your home’s assessed value, the year it was built, square footage, number of rooms and bathrooms, etc. However, tax cards may contain errors or not account for recent changes in the economy or the state of the property. Obtain a copy of your property tax card from the county assessor’s office to find such errors and have them redo the tax evaluation.
Remove disused outbuildings
Structures on your property may also be assessed for taxes. While some counties and towns only tax permanent structures, there is a chance that your tax bill includes a couple of storage sheds or greenhouses, that are no longer on your property. To ensure the county omits these errors from their records, you will have to file a property tax appeal.
Check for property tax relief
Not every state in the U.S. offers property tax relief, but most of them do offer reductions for seniors, veterans, and disabled. Additionally, certain types of property, such as the ones used for agricultural purposes, may also qualify for a property tax break. However, these reductions are not activated automatically, and you need to apply for them.
Compare neighboring property tax cards
If you think that your property tax is higher than those of others with similar homes in the area, you stand a good chance of having your property tax lowered. Tax cards are public information, so you can go through them and find homes in your area with a similar build, footage, and age to demonstrate the fact to the assessor’s office and ask for a reduction in property tax.
Get an independent property tax appraisal
Often, there is a difference between how county assessors and real estate appraisers value properties. If your property tax seems disproportionately high, you can have your property independently appraised. If a real estate appraiser values your home at less than the county’s assessment, you may file for a property tax reduction.
Look for homestead exemption
Similar to other property tax reliefs, homestead exemptions are implemented differently in every state. However, if the homestead is the primary place of residence for at least a year and you meet certain income requirements, you generally qualify for a property tax relief under the U.S. State Laws. Check if you are eligible for tax exemptions under homestead laws and notify your county assessor’s office to reduce property tax.
File a property tax protest
State laws allow you to file a protest against high property tax if you believe them to be unfair. Every state has slightly different rules and regulations for property tax protests. However, the mechanism is there, and you can use it to get property tax relief. Do note that there are certain time limits for filing a property tax protest, so act quickly.
Hire a Property Tax Expert in Texas
If you are looking for property tax reduction in Texas, especially in Bexar County and surrounding areas, you can always call us at Paladin Tax Consultants. We understand that navigating the appeal process can be complicated and time-consuming, and not everybody has an acute understanding of all the laws and rules around them. Fortunately, as property tax experts, we can help, and there’s no charge if we cannot lower your property tax bill.
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